Milwaukee Is Blowing It

Latest Actions By Milwaukee Democrats Undermines Convention Commitment

(Note: this first appeared in the Life, Under Construction newsletter on August 17. You can learn more about subscribing by clicking here.)

I have almost no sympathy for the Moms for Liberty organization. So much of their agenda is focused so narrowly on insulating our schools from our culture or our nation’s actual history that, if they had their way, school libraries would be reduced to empty shelves. As I have been quoted elsewhere, they are horribly misnamed.

However, the organization is a legitimate (and rising) part of the Republican Party’s coalition of interest groups. No matter how much Milwaukee Democrats and their favorite constituency, the teachers unions, despise the organization, they are as typically Republican as the elephant hats and the National Rifle Association.

When Moms for Liberty attempted to organize a presidential candidate forum in Milwaukee in advance of the first Republican presidential debate recently, the Milwaukee Teachers Education Association (MTEA) began to threaten venues that would host the event. As a result, the event has had two locations back out, including the Italian Community Center which is run by the Bartolotta restaurant chain. While the event is supposedly still on, the location is unknown.

One of the excuses given for applying the pressure to deny Moms for Liberty a venue is that they have been labeled an extremist group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). Our friends at Wisconsin Right Now (no relation to RightWisconsin), while a little shrill in their coverage (“MAKE IT GO VIRAL”), are correct in saying there are a lot of problems with taking SPLC at face value on anything, let alone deciding on a partisan basis which organizations are supposedly acceptable.

However, even taking the SPLC at face value rather than recognizing this fight as a defense of the teachers union turf, Milwaukee Democrats are being complete hypocrites. I’m not talking about their extremist special interests (although we could). I’m talking about pursuit of the Republican National Convention by the Democrats who run Milwaukee.

Who did they think was going to show up? The Village People?

Over the next year, Milwaukee is going to be invaded by every rightwing special interest group and coo-coo for Cocoa Puffs “conservative” commentator – with their entourages of crazies carrying pitchforks. Didn’t they watch CPAC on C-Span before inviting the Star Wars bar of political scum and villainy to spend their tourist dollars on bratwurst and beer?

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When Tucker Carlson shows up with his infrared testicle tanner at a bar on Water Street and The Proud Boys start lining up all the way to Brady Street, will Milwaukee’s Democrats say, “hey, at least they’re spending money here,” or will they say, “let’s boycott any business that serves a drink to Ann Coulter, too?”

Because right now Milwaukee’s political leadership is blowing it. They’re making it clear they don’t care how unwelcome Republicans feel in their city, which is the opposite of the idea of playing host to a group of visitors they begged to come.

And when the next threatened round of boycotts happens because Sean Hannity hosts a live event at a prominent Milwaukee restaurant, shouldn’t that restaurant be angry at Milwaukee’s Democrats for playing a game of bait and switch?

Milwaukee’s Mayor Cavalier Johnson should set the example for the rest of his fellow Democrats and announce that he opposes any boycott of any venue that hosts Moms for Liberty or any other Republican group in advance of the Republican National Convention. Not only would such a commitment to pluralism be good for the city, the city’s image, and even commerce, it would also set a nice example for Moms for Liberty.

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